In Togo, an average of 1 in 4 girls is married before she reaches her 18th birthday – and 6% of girls are married before the age of 15. Child marriage is even more widespread in rural and underprivileged areas, and it poses a major obstacle to the achievement of girls’ and women’s rights across the country.
Child marriage is closely linked to the issue of girls’ education: 44% of young women age 20-24 years who have received no education were married before their 18th birthday; for young women who completed secondary education, the rate of child marriage drops to 8%.
Child marriage severely limits girls’ life prospects and exposes them to serious health risks. Although the Togolese government recently launched a national program to end child marriage, there is still much to do to eradicate this harmful practice, which shatters girls’ lives.
THE SOLUTIONS WE'RE PROPOSING
W4’s field partner, Carrefour de Développement, works to protect girls in the Anié district (in southern Togo) from child marriage, while also promoting the education and empowerment of young women who were married as children.
The program places young women at the heart of its activities: it aims to educate and support young women who have suffered early marriage, so that they can become change agents in their local communities. The main component of the program is income-generating activity training to help these young women establish sustainable livelihoods and gain financial independence.
The income-generating activities include bee farming (and honey production and marketing) and tree planting. These enterprises have a dual positive impact: providing a source of revenues for the women, while also having a positive environmental impact by contributing to the reforestation of the region and helping the local community to adapt to climate change.
As part of the program, the young women benefit from training and education on the issue of child marriage, including workshops and discussion groups, with the objective of generating collective community solutions to end child marriage. The overall goal is to raise community awareness about the dangers of child marriage and to mobilize the local community members and traditional leaders to commit, through a written community pledge, to eradicate child marriage.
A final component of the program is the provision of health services, specifically free medical services for girls and young women in the district to detect and treat STIs and AIDS.
THE IMPACT OF GIVING
By contributing to this innovative program, you offer young women who were married as children the opportunity to participate in life-changing training that can improve their lives and welfare and help eradicate child marriage. Your donation will enable young women to establish livelihoods and gain financial autonomy, through bee farming and tree planting, simultaneously having a positive impact on the environment by promoting the reforestation of local land.
You can enable these young women to benefit from adapted training and acquire the skills they need to become change agents in their communities: developing and implementing a community program to end child marriage.
And your help contributes to providing free medical care for underprivileged girls and women, which can have a crucial impact on their health and future.
Together, we can end child marriage!